Ivory Coast: September 22, 2002

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Although the man thought to be leading the coup attempt (former dictator general Robert Guei) died on 19th, the fighting continues in the cities of Bouake and Korhogo. Some 2,000 government troops, with some armored vehicles, have massed in Bouake. The government has called for the rebels to hand in their weapons, many stolen from army bases and being handed out to civilians. The government blamed an unnamed "rouge nation" for "hiring mercenaries" for the attempted coup. Since Ivory Coast's population is 36 percent foreign born, this statement was calculated to get the native born population fired up.

While often touted as a West African success story, it is still corrupt, with a large percentage of the young men unemployed and not very happy about the government.

France has announced that it is sending several hundred troops to protect the thousands of French citizens (and the French backed government) in Ivory Coast. 

 

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